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- Nathan the Wise - 10/43 -


TEMPLAR.

A burst of feeling soon is at an end.

DAYA.

And do you think that I, were he less kind, Less bountiful, had housed with him so long: That I don't feel my value as a Christian: For 'twas not o'er my cradle said, or sung, That I to Palestina should pursue My husband's steps, only to educate A Jewess. My husband was a noble page In Emperor Frederic's army.

TEMPLAR.

And by birth A Switzer, who obtained the gracious honour Of drowning in one river with his master. Woman, how often you have told me this! Will you ne'er leave off persecuting me?

DAYA.

My Jesus! persecute -

TEMPLAR.

Aye, persecute. Observe then, I henceforward will not see, Not hear you, nor be minded of a deed Over and over, which I did unthinking, And which, when thought about, I wonder at. I wish not to repent it; but, remember, Should the like accident occur again, 'Twill be your fault if I proceed more coolly, Ask a few questions, and let burn what's burning.

DAYA.

My God forbid!

TEMPLAR.

From this day forth, good woman, Do me at least the favour not to know me: I beg it of you; and don't send the father. A Jew's a Jew, and I am rude and bearish. The image of the maid is quite erased Out of my soul--if it was ever there -

DAYA.

But yours remains with her.

TEMPLAR.

Why so--what then - Wherefore give harbour to it? -

DAYA.

Who knows wherefore? Men are not always what they seem to be.

TEMPLAR.

They're seldom better than they seem to be.

DAYA.

Ben't in this hurry.

TEMPLAR.

Pray, forbear to make These palm-trees odious. I have loved to walk here.

DAYA.

Farewell then, bear. Yet I must track the savage.

ACT II.

SCENE--The Sultan's Palace.--An outer room of Sittah's apartment.

SALADIN and SITTAH, playing chess.

SITTAH.

Wherefore so absent, brother? How you play!

SALADIN.

Not well? I thought -

SITTAH.

Yes; very well for me, Take back that move.

SALADIN.

Why?

SITTAH.

Don't you see the knight Becomes exposed?

SALADIN.

'Tis true: then so.

SITTAH.

And so I take the pawn.

SALADIN.

That's true again. Then, check!

SITTAH.

That cannot help you. When my king is castled All will be safe.

SALADIN.

But out of my dilemma 'Tis not so easy to escape unhurt. Well, you must have the knight.

SITTAH.

I will not have him, I pass him by.

SALADIN.

In that, there's no forbearance: The place is better than the piece.

SITTAH.

Maybe.

SALADIN.

Beware you reckon not without your host: This stroke you did not think of.

SITTAH.

No, indeed; I did not think you tired of your queen.

SALADIN.

My queen?

SITTAH.

Well, well! I find that I to-day Shall earn a thousand dinars to an asper.

SALADIN.

How so, my sister?

SITTAH.

Play the ignorant - As if it were not purposely thou losest. I find not my account in 't; for, besides That such a game yields very little pastime, When have I not, by losing, won with thee? When hast thou not, by way of comfort to me For my lost game, presented twice the stake?

SALADIN.

So that it may have been on purpose, sister, That thou hast lost at times.

SITTAH.

At least, my brother's Great liberality may be one cause Why I improve no faster.

SALADIN.

We forget


Nathan the Wise - 10/43

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